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How To Write Lit Poetry Essays Sample Intro

Steph Atkinson | Tuesday February 08, 2022


Compare how women are presented in four of the poems you have studied.


  • The women in the poems
  • How they are presented

Chosen Poems

Mother, any distance’ (MAD) – Armitage

Anne Hathaway’ (AH) – Duffy

My Last Duchess’ (MLD) – Pre-1914

The Laboratory’ (Lab) – Pre-1914

Your sample introductions are a big improvement on the introductions you were writing earlier in the term, so well done.

However, you now need to consider how to improve them further. These are the things to avoid:

  • Don’t tell me what you’re going to do – just do it
  • Don’t spend ages building up to a point – just make it
  • Don’t make general points about the poems – be specific
  • Use evidence to support all your points after the introduction
  • Analyse small, relevant, carefully chosen quotations in as much depth and detail as possible – quality rather than quantity
  • Keep your comparisons brief, relevant and thoughtful – explain why this comparison is relevant to the question, what insight it gives us into the characters, themes, ideas, why the two poems are similar/different…

Task: What does this sample introduction do well? How could it be changed or improved? Save a copy of this document in your area and type your ideas underneath or in comment boxes.

Sample Introduction

The women in ‘Mother, any distance’ (MAD), ‘Anne Hathaway’ (AH), ‘My Last Duchess’ (MLD) and ‘The Laboratory’ (Lab) each explore the consequences of a woman’s relationship with a male which is central to their lives and…

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